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Another study shows that hydroxychloroquine isn’t an effective coronavirus treatment

Published Jun 17th, 2020 8:07PM EDT
Coronavirus Vaccine Update
Image: Sebastiao Moreira/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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  • A new research study affirms that hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for coronavirus patients.
  • Multiple studies have all shown that the drug, which was touted by President Trump earlier this year, is not capable of combating the coronavirus.

Back in March, when the coronavirus pandemic started to sweep across the country, President Trump started touting the benefits of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as an effective treatment for COVID-19. Trump’s enthusiasm for the drug was particularly unusual given that many medical professionals, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, were wary of its efficacy from the very beginning.

To this point, Fauci back in April cautioned that we shouldn’t “make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug.” Fauci added that more testing would need to be done to determine whether or not hydroxychloroquine — which was developed as an anti-malaria drug — is safe and effective when it comes to treating coronavirus patients. And now, nearly two months later, we have more than enough evidence that conclusively shows the drug Trump was so enamored with has no discernible impact on the coronavirus.

Most recently, a preclinical study conducted by researchers from a number of research universities in France found that hydroxychloroquine does not have the ability to kill or even help suppress the coronavirus. The study began a few months ago and involved primates.

“The major results of the study, MedicalXpress notes, “are that HCQ did not protect the animals in the prophylactic setting and none of the HCQ treatment strategies showed any significant effect on SARS-CoV-2 viral loads when compared to placebo treated animals.”

The results here shouldn’t be all that surprising as previous studies involving hydroxychloroquine were similarly less than promising. If you recall, a hydroxychloroquine study involving 368 patients that began in April showed the drug could actually be more problematic for coronavirus patients. The study specifically found that 28% of patients who were given the drug died compared to 11% of patients who received otherwise regular care.

What’s more, the side effects associated with hydroxychloroquine are so severe that many doctors cautioned against its use even if it proved to be somewhat helpful. Specifically, the drug can cause serious heart issues that ultimately lead to cardiac arrest. There’s also evidence that patients on the drug could experience organ damage.

Meanwhile, the race to create a coronavirus vaccine remains ongoing. Just last week, Army scientists said that they’re working on a vaccine candidate that might be able to combat any and all coronavirus strains. Human testing on Army’s vaccine is set to begin this summer and, if all goes well, it might be available as soon as late 2020.

All that said, there’s no indication that the coronavirus will die down anytime soon. While the number of coronavirus cases in cities like New York City has gone down, we’ve seen huge spikes in reported cases in states like Arizona and Florida. Additionally, Beijing recently suffered another COVID-19 outbreak that has been categorized as “extremely severe.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.